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COMMITTEE FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF TEXTILE AGREEMENTS
EXTENDS CHINA SAFEGUARD DECISIONS


On Tuesday, November 1, the Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements (CITA), which is chaired by the Department of Commerce, decided to extend until November 8, 2005, the period for making determinations on whether to request consultations with China regarding imports of women's and girls' cotton and man-made fiber shirts and blouses, not-knit (category 341/641); cotton and man-made fiber skirts (category 342/642); cotton and man-made fiber nightwear and pajamas (category 351/651); and cotton and man-made fiber swimwear (category 359-S/659-S).

CITA also decided to extend until December 31, 2005, the period for making a determination on whether to request consultations with China regarding imports of cotton, wool and man-made socks (category 332/432 and 632 Part).

Background: On July 11, 2005, the American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition, the National Council of Textile Organizations, the National Textile Association and UNITE HERE filed requests for safeguard relief with respect to imports of women's and girls' cotton and man-made fiber shirts and blouses, not-knit; cotton and man-made fiber skirts; cotton and man-made fiber nightwear and pajamas; and cotton and man-made fiber swimwear. On August 3, 2005, CITA published notices in the Federal Register establishing a 30-day public comment period concerning the industry requests.

On October 22, 2004, CITA determined that imports of Chinese origin socks are, due to the existence and threat of market disruption, threatening to impede the orderly development of trade in this product. On October 29, 2004, the United States requested consultations with China with a view to easing market disruption and avoiding the threat of market disruption, and established a twelve month limit on imports of socks from China extending through October 28, 2005 at a level of 42,433,990 dozen pairs. The quota limit filled on May 12, 2005. On July 8, 2005, an industry coalition requested that CITA re-impose a textile safeguard action on imports of socks. On August 3, 2005, CITA published a notice in the Federal Register establishing a 30-day public comment period concerning the industry request.

CITA procedures state that it will make a determination within 60 calendar days of the close of the public comment period as to whether the United States will request consultations with China. If CITA is unable to make a determination within 60 calendar days, it will cause a notice to be published in the Federal Register that includes the date by which it will make a determination.

On August 16-17, 2005, the United States commenced negotiations with China on a broad textile agreement. These negotiations continued on August 30-31, 2005, September 26-28, 2005, October 12-13, 2005, and were reconvened on October 30, 2005.

CITA will publish shortly Federal Register notices corresponding to today's announcement.

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